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Monday, April 28, 2014

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green building: small footprint garden buildings


cbs tiny  garden shed/office

Sometimes smaller is indeed better. I’m always fascinated by small footprint homes, buildings and structures that add space, functionality and value. A little English outfit called Custom Built in Surrey creates just such structures, cute, one-of-a-kind, custom garden buildings that can perform a variety of functions. The company creates garden sheds or offices (above) that can fit in a corner of a backyard.

CBS bespoke tiny house

Larger one room studios or guest homes take up a little more room. These are not prefab, modular designs. Almost all of the buildings – which are designed to be constructed on-site without permits in an existing yard or garden – are created for each unique physical space and function. The buildings can be designed with insulation, heat, light and electricity.

cbs tiny house (more…)

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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Eco-News Roundup


plant grows in the desert

A beefy issue
To start off this week’s eco-news roundup, is an important article that discusses the impact of meat and dairy consumption on emmissions. The article focuses on the emissions reductions that would be associated with halving the consumption of meat and dairy products in Europe. The UN report referenced in this article has found that, “Greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture would be cut by 25-40% if Europeans cut their meat and dairy consumption by half.” Read the entire article @ theguardian.com

The future impact of climate change
Another interesting article examines the potential future effects of global climate change. The US Department of Defense has released its 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review, which discusses the idea that “climate change has been and will continue to be a “threat multiplier” in matters of US national security and hotspots around the world.” Read the entire article @ allvoices.com    (more…)

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Friday, April 25, 2014

eco-fashion friday finds – springtime rain wear


Spring showers may bring May flowers, but right now we have to stay dry. Here are few eco-friendly fashion finds that will hopefully help you stay warm, dry and cozy this spring.

nau poncho via

Nau makes a wide variety of stylish, eco-friendly clothing. The Poncho Via raincoat (above) is just one of their fashionable, bad weather solutions – this hooded pull-over poncho has a chic silhouette that features 2, zipped front pockets. This modern update of the classic poncho is waterproof and breathable – its hard shell looks great and is fully seam-sealed and water repellent. The Poncho Via is designed with an adjustable belt that can be worn two ways: completely cinched down around the waist or belted on the inside to extend the jacket’s graceful pleats. Made from a 60/40 recycled poly and organic cotton blend. Comes in caviar, beetle, or lacquer (pictured above)  $275 @ nau.com

pelcor cork bucket hat

Is keeping your bouffont dry during all these spring showers on your bucket list? Solution – a timelessly chic, anti-trendy bucket hat made of sustainable, renewable cork. €38.00 from the cork fashion experts at Pelcor

aigle natural latex rainboots

One must always endeavor to keep their tootsies dry and warm, particularly in a chilly spring rainstorm, snow shower or flood. These handmade Aigle rain boots (above) will definitely do the job. Handcrafted in France – Aigle has an extensive line of natural rubber boots that are both fashionable and functional. Aigle has boots for almost every undertaking, from hunting, gardening and horseback riding — to an everyday walk in the park or down a chaotic NYC sidewalk.

Most rain boots are made from PVC, polyvinyl chloride, which contains nasty toxins such as dioxin (a carcinogen) and phthalates (endocrine disrupters), but this natural-based collection is (more…)

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

5 handmade coffee tables in reclaimed wood


reclaimed timber table

We love handmade furniture made from reclaimed wood – you know the deal, save trees and reuse vintage materials. This week I thought we’d do a quick roundup of that living room staple – the ubiquitous coffee table – all featuring reclaimed or salvaged wood.

reclaimed maple coffee table

The rustic-modern Box-Car Maple coffee table (2 photos above) is made from reclaimed maple and features hairpin legs. Created by woodworking designer Toby Hardman and WickedBoxcar in their London, UK shop. $629.69

reclaimed chunky wood coffee-table

This coffee table (above) is made in a butcher block style using vertcally assembled pieces of reclaimed wood, thus exposing the end grain. Created in L.A. by Rafael Moyal. The table measures 37.5″ x 17.5″ x 18″ and features a piece of steel i-beam (making the whole deal quite heavy). $2,100 @ rd & co

reclaimed barnwood beam coffee table

The Reclaimed Block Coffee Table is constructed from chunky blocks of salvaged old growth wood salvaged from an old demolished barn. Your living room will definitely benefit from all the character inherent in this reclaimed wood. $499 @ Mt. Hood Wood Works

pallet wood coffee table

This pallet wood table (above) features a unique center trough for displaying votive candles, pine cones, sea shells, or other small obsessions. Available in different stains and with a rustic in or finished surface. $175 from upcycled woodworks

reclaimed pallet wood coffee table

(above) Another handmade coffee table made from reclaimed pallet wood – this crate-style table also provides great storage beneath its removable tray top. $240 from Looney Bin Trading Co.

related: more eco-friendly home decor items feature on www.alternativeconsumer.com

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2014 Furniture Designs – What’s Hot and What’s Not


However you spruce up your home, when it comes to the new design there are a few tips that can make the process much smoother. By taking note of these tips you can ensure that the changes you make will not only suit your needs but will be in line with the best trends for 2014.

Go for Minimal
No matter how tempting it is to fill every room, bear in mind that minimal is the look to go for in 2014. Minimalist furnishings are timeless because they can be pared-up or down. You can incorporate your own personal taste to the look by adding accessories, centerpieces, and little accent touches. Experiment with patterned novelty pillows, throws, and slipcovers. But go easy – minimalist means no clutter! Instead, go for clean lines and create space in your home by limiting the number of pieces. If you have items that you no longer have room for consider donating them to charity or even selling them to make a little extra cash. Another option is to select pieces that have built-in storage. Most ottomans and footstools are perfect for tidying up kids’ toys, pillows and accessories.

minimalist modern furniture

Transform your Furniture
You don’t have to splash out loads of cash on new furniture in order to give your home a bit of a facelift. Instead, look at transforming your furniture through such methods as staining and stripping, which will enable you to add your own personal touch to your furnishings rather than just purchasing whatever is available at the furniture store at the time. Of course, you may need to invest in new furniture if your old items are on their last legs. If this is the case, look around for chairs and other furniture that fit in with the minimalist theme, which relates to simple yet functional décor.

Organization is Essential
One of the key things to bear in mind when it comes to designing your interior in 2014 is the need to be organized. By de-cluttering your home and getting rid of items that you no longer use, want or need you will find it easier to put other measures into place such as going for a more minimalistic finish. This is also a great way to create an airier, more spacious finish in your rooms and makes cleaning and dusting a lot easier as there is less clutter to deal with.

By taking these tips into consideration, you can enjoy having more space, less clutter, and a minimalist finish that will fit in with the design trends for 2014.

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